Tim-3 (T cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain 3), belonging to the member of the novel Tim family, has been confirmed that it plays a critical negative role in regulating the immune responses against viral infection and carcinoma. Recently, it has also been reported that the over-expression of Tim-3 is associated with poor prognosis in solid tumors. However, the role of Tim-3 in colorectal cancer remains largely unknown. In the current study, we aim to investigate the expression of Tim-3 in colorectal carcinoma and discuss the relationship between Tim-3 expression and colon cancer prognosis, thus speculating the possible role of Tim-3 in colon cancer progression. Colon cancer tissues and paired normal tissue were obtained from 201 patients with colon cancer for preparation of tissue microarray. Tim-3 expression was evaluated by immunohistochemical staining. The Tim-3 expression level was evaluated by q-RT-PCR, western blot and immunocytochemistry in four colon cancer cell lines (HT-29, HCT116, LoVo, SW620). Tim-3 was expressed in 92.5% tumor tissue samples and 86.5% corresponding normal tissue samples. Expression of Tim-3 was significantly higher in tumor tissues than in normal tissues (P < 0.0001). Tim-3 expression in colon cancer tissues is in correlation with colon cancer lymphatic metastasis and TNM (P < 0.0001). Multivariate analysis demonstrated that Tim-3 expression could be a potential independent prognostic factor for colon cancer patients (P < 0.0001). Kaplan-Meier survival analysis result showed that patients with higher Tim-3 expression had a significantly shorter survival time than those with lower Tim-3 expression patients. Our results indicated that Tim-3 might participate in the tumorgenesis of colon cancer and Tim-3 expression might be a potential independent prognostic factor for patients with colorectal cancer.
Keywords: Tim-3; colon cancer; overall survival; prognosis.